Although I've always had my studio at home I never really had a place to store all of my tools and do our work. The garage was pressed into service but never more than two car bays, it was always far too small. There was always a tool trailer parked out in the driveway to hold the extra tools and give us a teeny bit more working room. The size of our garage always limited the size of our projects. Most of the time we did our work on the customer's site.
In June of 2003 we finally bought our dream property and set about drawing the plans. The small acreage was in the tiny town of Yarrow, about 60 miles east of Vancouver, British Columbia. There was an old farmhouse on the property - nothing fancy, but livable for the short term. The shop would come first - and the house would come when it was time. I drew up the plans and brought them to Janis, excited that this dream was finally happening. She took one look at them and then shook her head. I was of course discouraged until she added... 'go back to the drawing board, build it bigger, build it fancier, build your dream, build it only once.' The result was truly the shop and studio of my dreams. No plain industrial box was this, for it was straight out of my imagination. It would be a shining example of what we could do.
The studio too was straight out of a storybook, the huge bank of windows facing the most gorgeous view to inspire me every single day. The welded steel desk was built right into the wall so I faced these windows as I worked.
Having a well lit, heated and spacious workspace for the first time ever allowed us to approach our work in a whole new way. We could now do most of our work from the comfort of home and only travel to do the installations. All the tools were organized and handy to where we needed them. New tools were added as well including a shop welder and a plasma cutter. We could now form and weld a framework for anything we imagined. There was an overhead crane to help lift heavy objects and even load them onto the trailer for transport when we were done.
The studio and workshop allowed me to be more creative than ever. And that is not likely to end anytime soon. We have in fact only just begun...